How Do You Find a Hole & Fix it in an Air Mattress?

Do you wake up on a deflated air mattress with the feeling of the hard floor despite properly inflating your air mattress? The thing is, your air mattress might have a hole that is leaking out air as you sleep.

Of course, we understand that finding a hole can be frustrating and messy, especially if it’s tiny. However, the good news is we’ve come up with a guide on how to find and fix a hole in an air mattress.

How to Find a Hole in an Air Mattress?

how to find a hole in an air mattress

Prepare the workspace

Before finding a hole in an air mattress, you must ensure that your workspace has adequate lighting. This way, it will be easier to see the hole — as long as it’s not microscopic.

What if you’re outdoor camping at night and there’s poor lighting? If that’s the case, you should try to find a well-lit tent or caravan.  On top of that, you should ensure your workspace is free from windy noise since it can limit your ability to hear air escape from the mattress.

Once you’ve found a place that is silent and well-lit, you’ll need to inflate the mattress. Finally, it’s time to hunt for the hole!

Verify the Leak

Did you know that a mattress can lose air depending on temperature? Before searching for a hole in your air mattress, you must rule out air loss due to cold temperatures.  To do this, you must fully inflate the mattress and watch if it rapidly loses air.

Conduct a visual inspection

To make the visual inspection easier, you will first need to check the areas prone to leaks, such as the valves, pumps, edges, and seams. This is because they tend to deteriorate and split apart faster due to pressure.

Then again, since some holes are tiny,  there’s a slim chance you might notice them with your bare eyes. To solve this, we would recommend that you use a magnifying glass.

Listen to the mattress.

If you’ve owned one of those inflatable swimming gear, you probably already know they make a whistling or hissing sound once they get punctured. The same goes for an air mattress.

But to get the best results with the listening method, you will need another person to press on the mattress while you place your ears on the surface. This way, the pressure from the other person causes air to come out of the holes faster and with more force so you can hear it better.

Once you’ve heard the air and located the hole, mark it with a marker.

Toilet paper trick

air mattress losing air but no hole

To detect a hole using the toilet paper trick, you only need toilet paper, single-ply paper towels, a napkin, or foil. You will also need an enormous surface area to move around and flip the mattress without constraints.

Like the listening method,  you will need another person to apply pressure on the mattress. This way, the air will flow from the hole with more pressure, making it easier to detect.

To make your work easier by covering more ground, we recommend using a larger piece of paper. On top of that, you should begin with areas prone to punctures. Once you see that the paper is moving or being hit by air, you’ve hit the jackpot, and it’s time to mark the hole.

Soap & Water

how to find a hole in an air mattress with soap and water

Disclaimer – Don’t try this method if you have a pillow-top air mattress.

Step 1

Assemble all the things you will need, which are:

  • Dish soap that doesn’t contain any bleach. 
  • Warm water.
  • A container to mix your soap and water.
  • A sponge or rag.

Step 2

Mix the soap and water in a container until it forms many bubbles, then submerge the rug in the soap and water mixture.

Step 3

Place your air mattress in a large area so it’s easy for you to move around. After that, you need to inflate your mattress to its total capacity — but don’t overdo it. 

Not to forget,  you will also need to ensure that the space you’ve placed the mattress is free from electronics or other items that are not water friendly.

Step 4

Start slowly wiping the mattress with the wet sponge from the bottom to the top. Don’t forget to apply pressure as you work. This way, you will notice bubbles forming around the area with the hole.

Step 5

Mark the holes and let the mattress dry up entirely before patching up the mattress.

Read about best Canadian mattress reviews

Powder Method

how to find a hole in an intex air mattress

The powder method might do the trick if you’re not afraid to get messy. All you need to do is pour baby powder on the mattress. After that, you will apply pressure to the mattresses. Once you notice a cloud foaming from the powder, you’ve found the hole.

Mark the Hole After You Locate It

Once you’ve located the hole in the mattress, mark it with a permanent marker or a piece of tape. This makes it easier to identify it when it’s time for repairs. What’s more, sometimes you will find that your mattress has more than one hole, so you wouldn’t want to leave any out on the repairs.

How to Fix a Hole in an Air Mattress

Before you fix the hole in your air mattress, you will need to read the mattress’ fixing instructions since each mattress is different. Nevertheless, here are the steps you will need to take to fix the mattress.

Step 1

Prepare the mattress for fixing

Wipe the area around the patch using a damp rug and a mild all-purpose cleaner or prepping solution. After it’s clean, you can deflate the mattress and let it dry up before patching it so the patch can stick well.

Another thing is that your surface needs to be smooth for the patch to stick better. If your air mattress is ribbed, you might need to gently sand it down using fantastic sandpaper before you can start patching it up.

Step 2

Cut the Patch

If you’re using a self-made patch made from a piece of a shower curtain, you will need to cut it about ½ inch more significant than the hole all around — but it shouldn’t be too big if you want a seamless finish. In addition, the ½ inch all round space ensures that you have plenty of room to stick it on the mattress for a good seal.

Step 3

Apply adhesive on the patch

You probably don’t need to worry about applying adhesive for a bicycle or a self-adhesive patch kit. However, if you’re using a non-adhesive vinyl patch kit or a self-made patch, you will need to apply a separate adhesive.

Using a non-adhesive patch that secures a mattress, you must apply good adhesive starting from the center while spreading it outward.

Step 4

Place the patch on the hole and apply pressure.

After applying adhesive to the patch, place it firmly on the hole. To make it stick better, you need to place something heavy, like weights or books, on the patched area.

Step 5

Wait for the adhesive cure and test it.

Once the adhesive has cured, you can test if it has fixed the leak by inflating it and gently applying pressure to it — and then listen if you can still hear the whistling or hissing sound. Apart from that, you can also inflate it and watch if it deflates rapidly.

How to Fix a Hole in an Air Mattress Using Duck Tape

How to Fix a Hole in an Air Mattress Using Duck Tape

To fix a mattress, you will need to fix an air mattress using duck tape:

  • Spread epoxy glue or rubber cement.
  • Duck tape.

Step 1

Spread rubber cement or epoxy glue over the hole on the air mattress and allow it to dry completely. It’s important to note that the amount of time it takes to cure depends on the type of glue or cement.

Step 2

Cut duct tape to cover the puncture and press it firmly on the mattress.

Step 3

Work the air mattress with your fingertips so the tape is flat against the mattress.

Step 4

Apply additional layers of tape to secure the duck tape patch

Step 5

Inflate the mattress to check if it’s still leaking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest and easiest way of locating a hole in an air mattress?

The fastest and most efficient way of locating a hole in the air mattress is by applying a soapy rug and watching out for bubbles. Apart from that, you can also inflate the mattress and listen to the air escape.

How do you fix a hole in a seam?

Using a patch in your seam might not work well if you have a hole in your seam. Alternatively, you can use high-strength glue or a hot glue gun if it’s a small hole. However, when using a hot glue gun, you need to be careful not to place the metal tip close to the surface of the air mattress since it will melt the surface.

How can you fix a leaking seal or gasket?

A leaking gasket is impossible to fix in most circumstances and requires a total replacement. However, you can check if it describes how it can be fixed.

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